Care recipient (cr) needs to know how to perform a breast self exam

Try: Begin by looking at breasts in the mirror with shoulders straight and arms on hips look for breasts that are their usual size shape and color breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling dimpling puckering or bulging of the skin a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple pushed inward instead of sticking out redness soreness rash or swelling raise arms and look for the same characteristics while at the mirror look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples this could be a watery milky or yellow fluid or blood feel breasts while lying down using right hand to feel left breast and then use left hand to feel right breast use a firm smooth touch with the first few finger pads of the hand keeping the fingers flat and together use a circular motion about the size of a quarter cover the entire breast from top to bottom side to side , from the collarbone to the top of the abdomen and from the armpit to the cleavage follow a pattern to be sure to cover the whole breast begin at the nipple moving in larger and larger circles until the outer edge of the breast is reached the cr can also move fingers up and down vertically in rows as if mowing a lawn this up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of the breasts for the skin and tissue just beneath use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of the breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back when the deep tissue is reached the cr should be able to feel down to her ribcage feel the breasts while you are standing or sitting many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery so they like to do this step in the shower cover the entire breast using the same hand movements described in step 4

Materials: n/a

Categories: Sage, Topic, Medical Physical, Gender, Female

Information: n/a

References: Adapted from the five steps of a breast self-exam available at

Keywords: Breasts breast exam

*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

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